Toronto FC has rattled off two consecutive 1-0 victories - one each in the Canadian Championship and MLS - and the struggling club hopes its an indicator of better times ahead.
Two consecutive 1-0 victories this week - versus Vancouver Whitecaps in the Canadian Championship final on Wednesday, and against Philadelphia Union in league play on Saturday - have dramatically changed the mood among the TFC players, who just a week ago were mired in a record-setting losing streak.
With the club set for a long layoff due to the upcoming international break, the staff and players agree that rattling off a couple of uplifting victories was just what the doctor ordered.
"After nine games and zero points, each game where you're playing in the league and you don't get points, at least, then it's not nice," head coach Aron Winter told reporters in the post game press conference. "But it's a big relief."
Winter was referring to, of course, the nine game losing streak that the Reds had suffered through to start the MLS campaign, something that came to an end with the win against the Union on Saturday. While the streak was extremely demoralizing, it was never going to last forever, said 19-year-old defender Doniel Henry, who had a strong pair of matches this week alongside Adrian Cann on Toronto's back line.
"It was always coming," Henry said of the streak-breaking victory, "we just had to see out a game. Finally we can see out a game, clean sheet, and get points."
It was that ability to grab a lead and defend it that made the recent pair of wins different from the constant losing that has plagued the club so far this year. In each victory, Toronto applied pressure for much of the game and benefited from a late, timely strike to put the match on ice.
It's something to build on when the schedule resumes next month, says Henry.
"We're positive," he said. "Now we can rest up and come back fresh and continue on with trying to get wins."
Henry's teammate and fellow backliner Ashtone Morgan agreed, stressing that the pair of clean sheets is something to be proud of as Toronto FC looks to pick of the pieces from a crumbling season.
"I think it's really good we came in with two wins going into the break," the 21-year-old Canadian international said. "It's a relief, so when we come back from the break we'll be more relaxed, but stay sharp at the same time, and just continue our good form."